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November 3, 2022

MTR100 Spotlight: Armach Robotics

  • Photo courtesy Armach
  • Photo courtesy Armach
  • Photo courtesy Armach Photo courtesy Armach
  • Photo courtesy Armach Photo courtesy Armach

The MTR100 is a look at the 100 leading companies, technologies and people in the global subsea sector. In the September/October edition, Marine Technology Reporter published the 17th Annual MTR100. Today's spotlight is on Armach Robotics, launched by Greensea Systems Inc.

Armach Robotics (Armach) is setting out to revolutionize proactive in-water cleaning of ship hulls by using of small, autonomous robots. Proactive in-water cleaning is the frequent removal of early stage biofouling through gentle means, reducing the problem at its earliest stages. Management and control of microfouling pays significant dividends to vessel efficiency and environmental safety. Adoption of a proactive in-water cleaning plan is the biggest step that a vessel owner or operator can take to effectively manage the problems associated with microfouling, including increased fuel consumption and subsequent increased emissions. Armach’s proactive in water cleaning approach is applicable for all types of vessels, both old and new.

Armach Robotics has set out to change the way vessel owners maintain their fleets through a proactive, intelligence based, in-water hull cleaning service. Armach is pioneering an intelligent solution to a universal maritime problem. Armach harnesses the power of Greensea Systems Inc.’s, open architecture platform, OPENSEA, for proprietary navigation and operational software that allows Armach to efficiently and quickly clean ship hulls. The resulting clean hull optimizes ship efficiency, lowers fuel cost/consumption and provides a complete hull condition report giving shipowners new insight into the condition of their ships' hulls. Armach Robotics’ technology is ready to meet the demand for cleaner, more efficient shipping operations, moving the industry forward with a disruptive, high tech solution to cleaner ship operations. Armach boasts an experienced leadership team, with operations based in Plymouth, Massachusetts.The Armach Hull Service Robot (HSR). Photo courtesy Armach

Armach offers a subscription based proactive cleaning solution that overcomes many shortfalls of current methods through the use of the Armach Hull Service Robots (HSR). The HSR is a single man deployed hybrid flying and hull crawling robot, approximately 1 meter long and weighs under 35kgs. The cleaning head brushes have been extensively tested to ensure they work optimally with any coating system, effectively removing the microfouling while not damaging or accelerating the wear rate of the coating. The HSR is equipped with a forward looking sonar, and forward and rear looking cameras to document the condition of the hull, pre and post cleaning. Autonomy and precision on-hull navigation are built on the OPENSEA and SafeC2 platforms from Greensea. A vessel can be completely cleaned in a single day, and through the use of autonomy and reduced onsite infrastructure and manpower, the annual cost is significantly lower than a reactive solution. Providing complete coverage of the hull is critical to a successful proactive cleaning while approach avoiding repetitive contact with areas already cleaned, as this is suboptimal for the coating system. Finally the data collected during the service provides proof to the owner and operator that the complete hull was addressed. Meaningful hull data output can be incorporated into existing and future performance monitoring systems, allowing for real world data optimizing the service routine and enabling increased performance.

Armach Robotics launched the first production Hull Service Robot (HSR) following an extensive technological development phase, and unveiled its first post-prototype HSR in May, 2022. Greensea Systems Inc. has been awarded a two-year Phase II Option Period by the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research to continue the technology development for an Autonomous Hull Cleaning Vehicle. Armach Robotics is providing the robots and robot operators to conduct field operations throughout the period of performance.

Subsea vehicles are the workhorses of subsea exploration, and in this edition MTR explores the technologies and technique that are helping to deliver increased presence and improved quality and speed of data delivery from the world’s waterways.
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